Beware of Pity (novel)

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Beware of Pity
Beware of pity cover.png
Author Stefan Zweig
Original title Ungeduld des Herzens
Translator Phyllis Blewitt
Trevor Eaton Blewitt
Country Germany
Language German
Publisher S. Fischer Verlag
Publication date
Published in English
Cassell (UK)
Viking Press (US)
Pages 386

Beware of Pity (German: Ungeduld des Herzens, literally The Heart's Impatience) is a 1939 novel by the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. It was Zweig's longest work of fiction. It was adapted into a 1946 film of the same title, directed by Maurice Elvey.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

The young lieutenant Anton Hofmiller is invited to the castle of the wealthy Hungarian Lajos Kekesfalva. He meets Kekesfalva's paralyzed daughter Edith and develops subtle affection and deep compassion for her. Edith falls in love with him. When she develops hopes for a speedy recovery, he eventually promises to marry her when she is recovered, with the hope that this will convince her to take the treatment. However, for fear of ridicule and contempt, he denies the engagement in public. When Edith learns of this, she takes her own life. Overwhelmed by guilt, he enlists in the First World War.

In popular culture[edit]

Wes Anderson loosely based his film The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) on Beware of Pity and The Post Office Girl.[2]

There is also a (2013) four-part Russian television series produced by Star Media called "Love for Love" which is based on "Beware of Pity". The story is set in the Ukraine on the eve of World War I in 1914. The director is Sergei Ashkenazy.

See also[edit]